Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Happy like barnacles

At the start of our second week of the delicious school holidays (for they are just like an ice cream that one doesn't want to end...and similarly our time does indeed seem to be melting away frustratingly quickly!) we all awoke with a craving to be beside the sea. The little Teacakes gathered buckets and spades, warm clothing...and some Top Trump cards as their random choice of play-thing for in-car entertainment.

Who could tire of the feeling as you first glimpse the sea? Or the game of offering up a shiny new penny for the first who shouts to announce it. After lunch in a wonderful cafe, where the waiters and waitresses wore the most gorgeously-styled plain black aprons (my notebook came out within seconds so that I might try and capture the detailing and recreate some of the loveliness with my own more pinky-toned fabrics), we went and sat on the beach....

...and looked at the limpets and barnacles that clung to the tide breakers...

...and then built waterways that the rising tide might travel up, which proved to be a hazardous activity resulting in wet shoes for some. This is my favourite time of year for visiting the beach...because you rarely have to share it...except with these seagulls that made the most endearing noises as they followed one another across the pebbles...

until they became silent as they looked out to sea.

In the late afternoon, very suddenly the sun went in, the temperature dropped and the sky began to change colour, which was all the incitement we needed to go off in search of cake. Slices of flourless chocolate cake (far less puritan than its name suggests) could be found in one of my best-loved buildings: a beautiful art deco pavilion, also home to an art gallery and stunning sculptures like this one below, that hangs in the well of a spiral staircase.

Some buildings make you love every part of them, for me this is one of them. I love its fluid, relaxed feel, its clean lines, chrome curves and huge sheet glass windows and sea view that is visible from every window. If you climb to the very top of the spiral staircase you may go out onto the roof, where the view seems even more breathtaking. From the roof I photographed the horizon, which after an torrential downpour was awash with moody blues and turquoises.

Once I had caught up the with the Teacakes, who had gone back inside with Grandmama, having grown chilly out on the roof, Zebra-girl and I went off for a closer look at the beautiful white domed shelter that we had looked down on from the pavilion.

Is there any more perfect happiness than being at the seaside on a quiet day when the weather see-saws between extremes providing an ever-changing colour-scheme to the horizon, safe in the knowledge that your dress is adequate to cope with this inclemency? It is second only to being in a fabric shop with money to spend, I think....or maybe it even beats that.

32 comments:

  1. What a very lovely day. Thank you for sharing it with us. I feel relaxed!!

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  2. what a fabulous day, and great photos. was the flourless cake very chocolatey to make up for the no flour?

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  3. Lovely photo's - I love visiting the sea when it is stormy too, it is about the only place I think you can SEE the weather changing before your very eyes.
    Take Care
    Clare x

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  4. Wow, your photos are gorgeous. They're making me crave summer!

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  5. Fantastic - nothing quite like an english pebble beach, with the sea coloured so perfectly. I much prefer a beach out of summer too :)

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  6. So lovely. I want to go to the seashore now. What a great way to spend the day. Must better than studying and tidying the house.

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  7. Your day watery outing photographs are beautiful! Thanks for sharing your day out, you have inspired me to head to the beach :)

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  8. This was so beautifully written - I feel like I have been there and experienced it all myself. Not bad when in reality I have been sitting in my kitchen eating left-over tuna curry for lunch while reading a blog :)
    Thank-you!

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  9. Lovely pictures Florence. Living in Cornwall means we are able to see the sea every day which is essential to me - lived inland for 14 months once and felt like I was dying!!! Also because Cornwall is so small the most you ever travel from one coast to the other is 40miles, so you can visit a wild and rugged North coast beach or a calm and beautiful South coast cove or river - a sea for every mood xx

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  10. Stunning photos...thanks for sharing. I love your description of school holidays being delicious and the comparison to ice cream. Time with our little ones is so precious we should always enjoy it so.

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  11. Thanks for sharing. I miss the sea SO much and my favourite time to go to the beach was when there was a storm blowing in. Even now my family think I am a little crazy when the cold wind is blowing and I put my face to the sky, breath in deeply and exclaim "Ahh...Sea breeze!" when the sea is something many hours away from us! ( I swear I can smell it though!)

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  12. Hi Florence, you guys had a beautiful day it seems. My girl will be off next week and maybe that would be a good time for us to go to the beach as well. I'm also considering your tissue paper project to decorate our front door.

    I just wrote about your blog on crafty daisies.
    http://craftydaisies.com/2008/04/16/international-crafters-unite/

    Take care,

    Simone

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  13. Sounds a lovely day, vewry envious.

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  14. Breathtaking photos! The one looking out to sea looks like a painting. What a lucky little family to spend the day at the shore :)

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  15. Oh what a beautiful day, such wonderful photos.
    Love Alison x

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  16. What a great day and your photos are brilliant. Where did you go, it sounds wonderful.

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  17. So pleased to hear that you had a fun, relaxing day out. Your photos are stunning. You have captured the serene powerful beauty of the ocean. The color palette is exquisite...moody yet tranquil.
    Happy Thursday Florence. x
    ginny x
    ps.. did you get to visit any swing parks this week?

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  18. A lovely post, beautiful photo's and what fun you had - cake too !
    x

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  19. Good to catch up with you again. I have been away from the computer. Amazing photos.

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  20. What stunning photos Florence, the colours are amazing. You write so beautifully.

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  21. to be beside the sea and eating cake.... my perfect day!
    i live practically on the sea and like Pipany could not ever imagine waking up and not seeing it out of my window.
    lovely pictures of a lovely day x
    t x

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  22. Oh what fun you seem to have had.

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  23. Hi Florence, I know a silly question - I would love to visit the afternoon cake place - dare you let me in on the secret??

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  24. Hey Florence,
    What beautiful photos and what a lovely day.

    Hugs.

    Catherine x

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  25. There is something rather charming about the seaside in winter (its technically not warm enough to say spring), the colours and something about the light. Thanks for putting me onto the Crafter Companion. Clare

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  26. Thankyou for the tissue paper tutorial within your previous post - has given me a great homeschooling craft kick in the bu** :)

    Seaside pics lovely, I can almost smell the fresh sea air, and the coast is definitely better before it gets too hot and steamy.

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  27. beautiful photographs - we had a similar out of season beach experience in france (I agree with you about those being the finest), but without the gorgeous art deco

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  28. What a lovely post! You have a way with words and your photographs! Makes me want to come visit England! Gorgeous~

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  29. I Love the beach in the cooler months too. I much rather wander the beach taking in the atmosphere than swim in it. I loved the pavillion by the sea. where is this?

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  30. These photos and your blog make me happy :) Thanks

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x